Inviting friends and family to the UK

Find out how to invite family members or friends to visit you in the UK.

You might like to invite family members or friends to visit you in the UK. If they're visa nationals, they'll need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to the UK.

Find out if you need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK on the UK government website.

Applying for Entry Clearance (visa nationals)

Your visitor should find out about the visa application process.

Your visitor must provide certain documents in support of their application. The information below gives an outline of which documents they'll need. You can also see a full and comprehensive list of supporting documents.

Documents your guests will need to provide

  • The online application form for Standard Visitors.
  • Passport.
  • The correct fee — £100 in local currency.
  • Bank statements or payslips to show your visitor can pay for the trip. They must have enough money to support themselves without working or getting public funds.
  • Evidence of their current employment or studies, if they're working or studying.
  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit. This could be a letter from their employer confirming they have a job to return to, for example.

Documents you need to provide

  • Your original confirmation of enrolment letter from your School Administrative Office. This confirms the dates of your course and the expected date of your graduation ceremony.
  • A letter from you addressed to the embassy in question. The letter must:
    • formally invite your friend or relative to stay
    • confirm you'd like your friend or relative to visit you in Nottingham
    • include the dates you'd like them to arrive and leave
    • mention they'll be staying in your student accommodation, if that's what they're going to do
    • mention you'll provide for them financially, if that's what you're going to do.
  • Three months' UK bank statements if you'll be financially supporting your visitor during their stay.
  • A photocopy of your passport, showing your personal details.
  • A photocopy of your current UK visa and your biometric residence permit (BRP).

Additional documents for guests attending your graduation ceremony

Your relatives or friends may be coming to the UK to attend your graduation ceremony. If you've bought tickets for them, you can email Academic Registry to ask for a letter.

Applying at the port of entry (non-visa nationals only)

Most non-visa nationals can request entry as visitors at immigration control when they arrive in the UK. This includes EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.

They must submit most of the documentation described above. They won't need to complete the application form or pay the visa fee. They must provide those documents to the Immigration Officer at their port of entry. Their port of entry could be an airport, a ferry port, etc. They should be prepared to answer any questions about their visit.

Your visitor may be able to use the eGates on their arrival in the UK and receive automatic entry as a visitor. They must:

  • be nationals of:
    • an EU or EEA country
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • Switzerland
    • the USA
  • be aged 12 and over, and
  • have a biometric passport carrying the biometric symbol.

If they enter via the eGates, they won't have to speak to an Immigration Officer and get a stamp in their passport.

  • Last updated: 17/01/2023